Volkswagen’s emissions scandal ballooned Tuesday as the automaker said it affects 11 million vehicles worldwide and will require the company to set aside 6.5 billion euro ($7.3 billion).

The startling admission instantly makes the crisis one of the most expensive automotive scandals in recent memory.

The crisis also threatens to upend the company on its rapid path to becoming the world’s largest automaker. Volkswagen had seized the title from Toyota for the first six months of 2015.

“This could damage the Volkswagen brand globally for years to come,” said former automotive marketing executive Peter De Lorenzo, blogger at, in an interview. “Trust and belief in the brand has been broken.”

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